The Memphis Grizzlies did their jobs on Monday night.
A loss to the Brooklyn Nets is one of the worst losses than can be had in the NBA right now, and the Grizzlies avoided such a loss and the questions that it would bring.
Memphis was never under a tremendous amount of stress in this game, as they cruised to a 112-103 victory at the Barclays Center. There were several impressive individual performances by the Grizzlies on this night, regardless of who the opponent was.
From the team leaders to the role players, the Grizzlies have to feel good about this team effort, which resulted in their seventh win in nine games.
Conley and Gasol: Easy Work
Mike Conley and Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies to this easy win.
Conley was as efficient as ever. He shot 10-for-16 from the field and 10-for-11 from the free-throw line en route to 32 points. Two points per shot attempt is a ridiculous level of efficient scoring, and Conley set the tone for a very good offensive night for the team.
As a club, the Grizzlies shot 51% from the floor and 93% from the charity stripe. And while Gasol also had a terrific game, he did not fall in line with efficient scoring.
Gasol scored 19 points on only 6-of-17 shooting, but also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out eight assists. His skill was too much for the Nets big men, and his defense of Brook Lopez, who shot just 7-for-18, was also solid.
These two were too much for the Nets to handle, and while they should have won their personal match-ups, they were still excellent in leading the team with poise and great play.
The Wright Stuff
The third-leading scorer behind Conley and Gasol on this night was bench big man Brandan Wright.
Wright’s energy led to another very efficient offensive performance for the Grizz, as he shot 7-for-9 from the floor on his way to a terrific 17-point outing in 21 minutes played. He provided a great spark off the bench and looked like the guy that the Grizzlies sought when they brought him in.
If Wright can continue to contribute in this way and stay healthy, then Memphis has a very valuable cog in their bench unit and on the trade market.
His contributions were not the only good ones from the second unit. Vince Carter also gave the Grizzlies a nice scoring punch, as he tallied 14 points of his own on 63% shooting.
But Wright’s terrific play was one half of an effective power forward duo for Memphis in this game. While Zach Randolph was not at his best, JaMychal Green shot 80% from the field in his 10-point, six-rebound outing in only 19 minutes on the court. If two Memphis PF’s can combine to shoot 11-for-14 without a great night from Z-Bo, that’s a great sign for the Grizz.
The Grizzlies are red-hot heading into the All-Star break and will have a chance to win their eighth game in ten contests on Wednesday night, as they will again have themselves a winnable game, this time at home.
The New Orleans Pelicans will come into Memphis, and the Grizzlies have the chance to cap off a very successful run of before the All-Star break games. In a season that had so many question marks, from injuries to new coaching, Memphis has looked like a very good basketball team for most of this season.
And if they can contain Anthony Davis on Wednesday, they should be able to head into their week off as a team that is 12 games over .500.